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Pay invigilators, says Artuz

by Staff reporter
24 Jan 2021 at 22:35hrs | Views
AMALGAMATED Rural Teacher's Union of Zimbabwe (Artuz) national secretarygeneral Robson Chere has called on the government to facilitate payment of teachers who took part in invigilating the Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council (Zimsec) - run "O" and "A" Level examinations.

Chere told NewsDay that Artuz had warned government to desist from proceeding with examinations during the COVID-19 pandemic, saying it was unreasonable for it to use the command approach to force students to sit for examinations when no learning took place the whole of last year due to the lockdown period.

Recently, some teachers in Karoi snubbed invigilating "O" Level examinations citing harassment by police over COVID-19 clearance letters, as well as lack of personal protective equipment (PPE), and lack of payment for their services.

Primary school teachers at one school in Karoi had to be roped in to invigilate the examinations, but they were given a plate of sadza each as payment, which sparked controversy.

In a written response to NewsDay over the issue of payment of invigilators, Primary and Secondary Education spokesperson Taungana Ndoro said all teachers that were invigilators were employed by the Public Service Commission (PSC), which was responsible for paying them.

‘‘Our mandate as the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education is to provide quality, relevant, inclusive, equitable and wholesome education for all Zimbabweans. The issue of payment is a condition of service, and doesn't fall under the purview of our ministry,'' he said.

Efforts to get a comment from the PSC were fruitless.

But ARTUZ said the Primary and Secondary Education ministry should take responsibility for the payment of the invigilators.

‘‘The ministry is the one that is responsible for the day-to-day affairs of the teachers and in cases of payment, it facilitates payment between teachers and the PSC. It is reflected even in the Zimsec issue in which the ministry is the one that gives a declaration for teachers to be part of the invigilation and marking. Teachers in their personal capacity have limited access or interaction with the PSC,'' Chere said.

He said Artuz made it clear to its members to desist from taking part in the invigilation of examinations without proper PPE. Chere said Zimsec should also take responsibility for paying the teachers that invigilated during the exams, adding that if it failed to do so, Artuz would take it to court.

‘‘A legal approach is what is required at this moment to challenge such a diabolical decision to fire the teachers," he said.

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